Today, my babies turned fifteen months old. That’s the exact age Harry Potter was when Voldemort killed his parents and tried to take his life, if you’re interested in such things (I am). My babies are rapidly moving from being babies to being walking, talking, temper-tantrum-having toddlers. It’s exhausting. And exciting. And frightening. And really, really funny.
We started the girls in day care this month (still too unsure of how things are going to want to write a post about it) and I’m really starting to feel conflicted about this growing up stuff. Not for me – I’ve been conflicted about that for a long time – but for them. I’ve always tried to focus on the good things for every stage, and really soak it up and enjoy it – but I have to admit that the newborn stage – and really all the baby stages – were difficult. They needed a lot from me, and (especially after I went back to work) it was exhausting and I found myself really looking forward to the times when they could do for themselves. When they could go get that toy that rolled out of their reach. When they could grab their own food. When they could turn themselves to follow what they were looking at.
Now they’re walking – nearly running – and getting into everything and running their mouths like they’re already teenagers. And every time I look at them I’m amazed all over again that they’re becoming PEOPLE and I MADE THEM and holyshit I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. AND HOW THEY TURN OUT AS ADULTS. It’s all sunshine and rainbows until I realize that part.
Oh, Rosy. You’re generally such a friendly baby. You’re not immune from the bitch face when you first meet new people, of course – but when your sister is still scowling long minutes later, you quickly warm up with a smile. Your wave is the cutest thing ever – one arm extended all the way above your head, wrist flapping, smile lighting up your whole face – your entire body language when you wave to someone seems to scream “Hello! I’m adorable! Look at me!” Your speech is very conversational right now – nobody but Maddy knows what you’re saying, but you’re always much happier if we’re looking at you and responding, rather than just letting you ramble on.
You give the best snuggles. Throwing your arms around my neck to squeeze, patting my face gently while you sit in my lap, looking deep in my eyes while you tell me the most amazing stories about your day (I assume they’re amazing stories about your day, I’m not fluent in Twin so I’m never quite sure what you’re saying). Some days, when being a toddler is tough (shots?! shoes?! NOT PUTTING THE LIBRARY’S TOYS IN MY MOUTH?!? Come on mom), all you want to do is lay on me and snuggle. Some nights you even wake up in the middle of the night demanding to be brought to bed for a little while, and I always oblige you. You’re always the initiater of the sissy snuggles before bed – before I even say a word, you’re leaping out of the arms of whoever carried you into your room to fling your arms around your sissy and mush your face into hers. And you never want to let go – even when she’s clearly trying to push you away and get some space.
When you’re upset, though, it can sometimes take the moon to settle you. At fifteen months you’re already an expert at going boneless during a tantrum, making it nearly impossible to pick you up, and at flinging your arms around furiously while you’re upset, making getting near you a danger. I’m generally never quite sure what sparked a tantrum – this afternoon it appeared to be the fact that you woke up? – and I’m still learning how to get through it, but I hope that we’ll get better at it together (cue every mother of every toddler in the world laughing at me in unison).
Miss Independent. You want to do everything yourself – whether that’s feeding yourself, putting your shoes on (or taking them off), or exploring the world, you are fearless and confident in doing it all on your own. Uninterested in the snuggles, you’ll put up with a hug from your sister or me holding you for a short time, but eventually you need to be let free to get back to exploring. You give me heart attacks on a daily basis with your fearlessness, in fact – whether it’s climbing over our furniture barricades to get to things that were supposed to be out of your reach or wiggling into impossibly tiny spaces so I can’t find you, you keep me on my toes.
You tend to be colder to new people…which I’m pretty much fine with, most people suck anyway, to tell the truth. Your bitch face is the stuff of legends, and it takes a.g.e.s for you to warm up to new people. Even when you know people, sometimes you simply don’t want them near you – you’ve decided recently that you’re not a fan of PopPop, so when he comes in for a kiss you try to swat him away (or scream). We’re all trying to remember that you don’t mean anything by it, but man, I know you’re hurting people’s feelings. Especially Daddy, when you leap out of his arms for me. He wants his Daddy’s girl back! At least we never have to worry about where we stand with you, Maddy girl – you’re very open and honest about your feelings.
You’re also extremely talkative. Sort of. You like to…pontificate. You stand very firmly – feet shoulder width apart – and gesticulate wildly while you yell about one thing or another. As long as people appear to be looking at and listening to you, you don’t require anyone to respond – just that they listen. Your sister generally ignores you – or tries to yell over you, which you don’t like so much, but generally speaking adults are willing to listen to you. And you adore it.